The winter chilli is slowly changing the tone of my kitchen from warm ambiance to a chili hue. Outside my window, the hairy melon plant has passed it season cycle and the little buds from my newly planted radishes and fancy lettuces are starting to sprout. My little niece is about to reach double digit months and I am approaching finishing one of my courses. Times are indeed changing around my house hold.
Life threw me a curve ball a few months ago and only now can I accept that things have to change around my house hold. I am not fond of breaking from routine, so it comes as no surprise that this shake up has really affected my emotional and in turn physical health. So I am guess I am apologising for not being very active here lately. It is not that I do not have things to say or food to post (I actually am backlogging sometimes) but mustering enough courage to post each time has become difficult.
“Getting the courage to post?” Who the hell says that!?
Yes this phase is not common but I will explain. Each time I post here I am filled with anxiety and suspense over whether the quality is good enough to be posted on the net. You guys are really what keeps me going on here as I love to hear your comments ( good or bad), re tweets, pins and other forms of sharing. I am hoping you have not been too disappointed with my last few post; some of them I am questioning the quality of the photos and such, but I can not take back what I have posted in the pass.
It might be helpful if I tried to adopt this outlook from my life too. While I cannot change the fact my dad is no longer here; I am damn well set on remembering him every day and never forgetting what he has done for his friends, family and even simple strangers. His determination and hard working spirit will live on in his garden that I view from my creative space.
I know it might not be the same. Working with sugar and butter is hardly comparable to plants and soil but go with it here. The garden may be changing it colours, appearance and produce but the foundation it was built on will never change. Maybe I can try my hand at growing a pumpkin patch next time…
Finally apples have reached a price that I can make pie from them!! Yes I am protective of my fresh apples. Hey, at $6 dollars a kilo for apples I was hardly in a rush to turn them in a dessert when I could eat them raw. Also with the cooler weather I can actually make a short, flaky pie crust without needed to run to freezer every 10 minutes. With the seasonal change I am taking a different edge on this apple crumble pie. Indeed it is everything which is great about pie. Warm, crumbly and chunky sweetened topping; next a golden crisp base which holds tender layers slices of cinnamon spiced apple. However this one is completely vegan and gluten free! Yep I am taking on the baking challenge of making pie that everyone can eat
I am not familiar with using this so I am looking to experts for guidance on pie making when gluten free. Also I got some help from series eats and other vegan guides on making a flaky short crust for pie. Hopeful it will work for you if chilli it enough and work with it quickly so it holds together. Like most pie crust it requires a quick hand, cold as oil/butter and water. I am using a food processor for convenience but it is helpful here as coconut oil or margarine is particularly hard to work in to flour by hand.
The apples are simple. Use tart ones, slice them thin and simmer with cinnamon, and brown sugar till just tender. They will get more cooking when you bake it. I like to use almond meal to combat the moisture but if do like the texture of it use corn flour or tapioca starch.
Vegan pie crust
You will need two pie tins 6inches
Adapted from Vegan baking, food 52 and this recipe on how to make pie crust from Serious eats.
20ml vodka, cold too
60ml cold iced water
460g gluten free plain flour mix ( I use a store bought one)
200g coconut oil, soften and cut to 1 cm pieces
5g teaspoon sugar
IN a food processor, mix all dry ingredients. Add in coconut oil pieces and blend on pulse for 5 rounds. Add all vodka and pulse once. Add water in slowly, one tablespoon at a time, until it just comes off the sides of the food processor. Turn out the mixture on to a cold surface. Using your hands quickly pat the dough together to form a disc. Wrap in plastic and fridge for 1 hour.
50g brown sugar
20g large granulated coffee sugar
60g rice flour
50g buckwheat flour
2g baking powder
2g xanthan gum
10g almond meal
80g coconut oil, soften to 1 cm pieces
In large bowl cream brown sugar and coconut oil until well mixed and lightly whipped. Use your stand mixer or hand electric whisk
Combine flours, gum, nut meal, salt and baking powder in a large bowl, Shift in another bowl
Add flour mix to coconut oil mix and stir to combine with a knife. Add large coffee sugar. Once it forms a dough, wrap in a plastic wrap and fridge till hard, about 10 minutes.
3 apples, peeled, cored and sliced to 2mm
1 lemon zest and reserved 2 tsp. lemon juice
20g brown sugar
5g cinnamon ground
Almond meal as needed
Over medium to low heat in large heavy based sauce pan, bring to boil all ingredients. Once boiling turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for a further 15 minutes to till tender and liquid is reduced
Take out your pie crust, crumble block and apples. Pre heat oven to 180C.
Roll out pastry to 4mm thick between two pieces of baking paper.
Flour your rolling pin well and roll up the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Over a pie tin of your choice (I used two 6 inch pie tins); roll the pastry down to cover the whole tin. Gently shake your tin and tap to work the pastry down the sides of the tin. Press in the corners and trim the excess off the sides. Fridge for 30 minutes.
Place blind baking beans on a cover of baking paper over the unbaked pie crust. Bake for at 180C for 10-15 minutes until just blonde. Remove beans and allow to cool.
While that is chilling on a course grater, grate your crumble topping and increase the oven to 200C
Place the pie tin on a baking sheet. Add your apple filling, layer the pieces carefully and almond meal then top with a generous amount of crumble.
Bake in preheated oven (200C) until the topping is golden brown and crisp.